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  • Bill Gates Keynote Address Opens CES 2002

    Reprinted from a Consumer Electronics Association press release:

    Microsoft Corporation Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates pre-opened the 2002 International CES - Your Source for Workstyle and Lifestyle Technology - with a dramatic presentation highlighting the role of software in defining the direction of electronics device design. The presentation focused on the current digital decade and the three key areas of product usage that shape consumers' demand for new devices - on the go devices, the home experience and entertainment. Gates keynote encompassed several product areas showcased at CES - from electronic gamming and wireless to home theater and mobile audio to home information and networking.

    Gates was introduced by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro. In his introduction, Shapiro described Microsoft as a company that epitomizes the spirit of CES, having begun small, but utilizing the trade show arena to grow.

    He then described Gates with the Yiddish term, Mensch, meaning a person who does good deeds, and noted how not only has Microsoft changed the world and all of its citizens, but also how Bill and Melinda Gates personally have made tremendous contributions to other causes.

    Gates began his presentation by describing the applicability of Moore's and Metcalf's Laws to the current digital decade, stating that, now more than ever, technologies will continue to get smaller, faster and cheaper and will all connect with each other. In the new era, said Gates, the success of any individual device will determine the success of other devices to which it connects.

  • Sonic Foundry Launches Vegas Video 3.0

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Sonic Foundry recently announced Version 3.0 of Vegas Video, its professional video and audio editing software. The new version incorporates new features and advancements in multimedia content development. These include, according to the manufacturer, fast and efficient DV capture and editing, and output capabilities to multiple formats for the Web, DVDs and broadcast.

    Vegas Video is said to offer support for many OHCI-compatible IEEE 1394 DV devices and can render projects in formats including: DV, MPEG-1 and 2, Real Media, Windows Media and QuickTime formats, uncompressed D1 for broadcast, NTSC, PAL and Red Book audio CDs, which feature Sonic Foundry's CD Architect technology.

    Sonic Foundry promises several new features for Vegas Video 3.0.

    The Batch Capture with Automatic Scene Detection, the company said, includes -- in addition to batch capturing -- tape logging, still image capture and thumbnail preview features that should allow users to intuitively capture DV.

    A long list of new, announced video effects include Lens Flare, Light Rays, Film FX, Color Curves, Mirror, Remap, Deform, Convolution, Linear Blur, Black Restore, Levels, Unsharp Mask, Color Grad, and Timecode Burn filter.

    Version 3.0 arms users with the tools to burn professional-quality Red Book audio CD masters directly from the Vegas timeline. Users will also have a DV Print-to-Tape from the Timeline feature.

    Vegas Video 3.0, Sonic Foundry said, offers Dynamic RAM Previewing timesaving, temporary render-free previews for quick examination and fine-tuning of complex video effects.

    In addition, the new Sonic Foundry-developed DV codec should offer perfect colors, sharp images, artifact-free compositing, and DV chromakeying, the company promises.

  • Canopus Adds 3D to DVRaptor-RT, DVStorm, DVRex RT

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor Canopus Corp recently announced 3D RT, an across the board addtion of real-time 3D transition capabilities for its DVRaptor-RT, DVStorm, DVRex RT and DVRex RT Professional editing products. With Canopus users already enjoying real-time, render-free DV output capabilites, the company heralds the addition of real-time 3D capabilities, as an unparalleled level of functionality for the Canopus line. With 3D RT, users can choose from five 3D transition groups (Page Peel, Fly Away, Single Door, Double Door and Sphere), and more than 30 preset transitions for 3D creation that the company promises will be free o soft or jagged edges users encounter on other systems. The real-time 3D effects, Canopus said, support Adobe Premiere 6.0 as well as its own Storm Edit and Rex Edit applications and will be incorporated into in newly-purchased DVRaptor-RT, DVStorm, DVRex RT and DVRex RT Professional products. Users who purchased these products after Oct. 1, 2001 can upgrade free, while other users can purchase the upgrade for $99 at The realtime 3D plug-in requires a Pentium 1.5GHz or AMD Athlon 1.4GHz or higher CPU, the company said.
  • Boris Announces 'Calligraphy' Titler for Final Cut Pro 3

    Reprinted from a Boris press release: Los Angeles (December 4, 2001) Boris FX, the leading developer of integrated graphics and effects technology for the television, broadcast, post production, and multi-media markets, today announced the introduction of Boris Calligraphy, two new title generators for Final Cut Pro 3. Running natively on Mac OS X, Calligraphy provides advanced titling capabilities for Final Cut Pro. "Boris Calligraphy showcases our strong integration with Final Cut Pro 3 through the unique approach of plugging into Final Cut Pro's Generator mechanism," said Boris Yamnitsky, founder and president of Boris. "Boris titling tools are the most powerful on the market and Calligraphy is a perfect introduction for Final Cut Pro 3 users to experience Boris' remarkable titling capabilities with two new generators - Title 3D and Title Crawl." Title Crawl is meant for convenient creation of automated roll and crawl effects, while Title 3D offers vector-based text that can be manipulated in 3D space with full pivot control, animated tracking, and other text transformations. Both Generators share a common text entry window and style palette which provides controls for text formatting including leading, kerning, tabs, and word wrap, as well as separate controls for fill, stroke, and shadow for creating and saving powerful text styles. Besides creating title animations in 3D space, the Title 3D Generator can be used on systems with real-time Final Cut Pro systems to create static slates that can then be animated in real time. For additional titling capabilities, users can upgrade to Boris GRAFFITI, which adds title extrusion, mapping titles to 3D shapes, text on path, automatically-resizing simple backdrops for text, natural media generation, export to Flash, and tools for creating sophisticated animations with ease. Boris RED goes further still, offering vector paint for write-on title
  • AIST Offers Laptop-Friendly Video Editing

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Calling it a perfect introduction to video, AIST recently released MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops. Using the company's MovieDV 4.0 editing software as a base, MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops comes with a PCMCIA IEEE 1394 card as well as an IEEE 1394 cable, for DV camcorder connectivity. It also ships with Sonic Solution's MyDVD DVD authoring software and Royalty-Free Audio.

    MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops, which is designed to support all major video and audio formats, offers video editing, animation, titling, as well as effects, transitions and audio capabilities for the video hobbyist.

    In addition, MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops allows for growth, as users become more adept at editing. Editors can use AIST MovieX and third party plug-ins to add transitions, effects, character generators and other features, the company said.

    MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops is available at a suggested retail price of $129.

  • JVC Wins Emmy for Development of Consumer Camcorders

    Reprinted from a Visario/CFG Media/Columbia Financial Group press release:

    Wayne, NJ (October 25, 2001) JVC, one of the world's leading developers and manufacturers of sophisticated audio, video and related software products, received an Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in technological advancement for Pioneering Development of Consumer Camcorders. JVC Executive Vice President and COO Harry Elias accepted the award, which was presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at a ceremony held in New York on October 16.

    The beginning of consumer camcorders started with JVC introducing the world?s first portable video system (Vidstar) for consumer use in 1977. For the first time, users were able to produce their own affordable color videotapes with impressive results. JVC has maintained the tradition of creating technologically advanced and affordable camcorders. This tradition started with JVC's 16.5 lb. HR /GC-3350 in 1978, which was used by broadcast professionals, and evolved to JVC's newest camcorder, the GR-DVP3 which is the world's smallest and lightest Mini DV camcorder, weighing less than .78lbs. These camcorders have become an integral part of society and are used for everything from capturing family moments to business applications.

  • After Effects 5.5 Expands Creative Options

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Adobe Systems has announced Version 5.5 of its popular After Effects motion graphics and video effects software, promising editors expanded creative tools and access to more media types.

    Expanding its import and output options to include Advanced RealMedia export and compatibility with Alias|Wavefront's Maya and Discreet's 3ds max, After Effects 5.5 is designed to give editors more flexibility. In addition to supporting additional file formats, including Maya IFF, RPF, SGI and QuickTime, the company said that 5.5 is the fastest After Effects yet.

    New features, Adobe said, will include multiple views, colored shadows and stained glass lighting. In addition, the program's new Advanced 3D Renderer is designed to create high-quality intersecting layers.

    After Effects 5.5, which supports Mac OS X as well as Windows XP, is expected to ship in early 2002. The standard version will come with a $649 MSRP, and upgrades for After Effects 5.0 owners will cost $99.

    Adobe will also release the $1,499 Production Bundle version, which will include Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator. In addition, according to an Adobe senior product manager, the Production Bundle offers superior visual effects tools for bluescreen and greenscreen keying, a greater selection of warping and morphing effects, and tools for shrinking and expanding mattes. The Production Bundle also offers editors vector paint tools, motion stabilization and a color stabilizer. Production Bundle users can take advantage of network rendering, saving time by simultaneously rendering a project on several desktop computers.

  • Corona - New Windows Streaming Media Platform Unveiled

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    At the Streaming Media East 2001 expo in New York Dec. 11, Microsoft demonstrated its latest streaming server technology, Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server.

    The server is part of Corona, the code name for the company's next Windows Media Technologies platform.

    Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server is the first deliverable component of the Windows Media Corona platform, and will, Microsoft said, improve Internet video streaming, in terms of functionality and economics.

    Microsoft Windows Digital Media Division Vice President Will Poole performed the demo during his keynote address at Streaming Media East 2001.

    Previewing two new audio and video codecs, Poole also demonstrated Corona's ability to offer full-screen, full-motion video quality to broadband PC users.

    The new server also includes Fast Stream, a feature designed to deliver an instant-on, always-on streaming experience, virtually free of broadband buffering delays. In addition, Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server is optimized, according to Microsoft, for wireless streaming.

    The Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server is also said to offer the industry's first server-side playlists, which would enable content providers to change on the fly any content delivered in a streamed broadcast environment.

    It was also announced that other "Corona" technologies, including new versions of Windows Media Player, Windows Media Audio and Video codecs, and Windows Media Encoder, as well as a new Windows Media Software Development Kit, are slated for beta testing in early 2002.

  • RealSystem Adds MPEG-4 Support

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    RealNetworks announced Dec. 10 that the next version of RealSystem will natively support MPEG-4. RealSystem iQ, a real-time streaming protocol component that supports over 50 media types, will actually employ MPEG-4 immediately.

    RealSystems 8, the current version, which includes RealPlayer, RealServer and RealProducer, is a standards-based, media delivery platform independent of any operating system.

    While native support for MPEG-4, a multimedia standard developed by the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG), will be included in the next release, even now, RealNetworks said, it is supported as of today through server and client-side plug-ins of Envivio's MPEG-4 technology.

    The company did not announce specific plans or target date for the next version of RealSystems.

    RealNetworks also announced it has joined the 3GPP, a main standards body for the mobile network industry, as well as participating in the multimedia specifications group (SA4) within the 3GPP. Involvement in the codecs working group, SA4, should enable RealNetworks to contribute to the definition and development of specifications for audio, video and multimedia codecs.

  • Apple Final Cut Pro 3.0 for OS X Released

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Apple recently announced the release of Final Cut Pro 3.0, the latest incarnation of its highly-touted video editor. Not only does Version 3 boast preview, voiceover and auto-save modes, but it fills the obvious need as an editor for Mac OS X.

    With Apple receiving flack from some industry insiders that it released the OS X operating system without supplying compatible versions of its own software, the release of 3.0 was good news, if not a bit overdue. Final Cut Pro 3.0, in fact, according to Apple, is the first professional video editor for OS X. Adobe, not to be left too far behind, announced it will deliver After Effects 5.5, which is expected to work with OS X, early next year. While it may not live up to Apple's claim, It's like getting $50,000 worth of editing tools for under $1,000, the new release does come with some impressive attributes.

    Final Cut Pro 3 new features include real-time G4 DV effects, such as wipes, dissolves and color correction without an add-on card. In addition, Apple said, OfflineRT, the company's new offline format, will let Power Mac G4s or Titanium PowerBook G4s hold up to five times as much footage as it can with DV. It is designed to allow users to capture 40 minutes of video t about 1GB, edit the footage in real time, then recapture the final edit to the desired format.

    Other announced new features include QuickView, a new preview mode that should let editors quickly preview complex effects before rendering them, and Autosave Vault, which saves and time-stamps projects at user-specified intervals, allowing editors to return to previous stages of their projects.